The average cost of a Canadian wedding was more than $25,000 last year, so it makes sense to check out ways to save money like the Vancouver Bridal Swap.

Two wedding planners, Sarah Shore and Geneve McNally, drummed up the swap meet idea in 2011. Basically, former and future brides get together to buy and sell gently used wedding dresses, decor and all the other stuff for the "I do" day.

This year's bridal swap happens on Sunday, April 7 at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown. Anticipate a lot of company, considering the first show expected 200 people and got 700 instead, said Shore.

It's amazing what former brides realize they have to get rid of, and what brides-to-be suddenly decide is absolutely necessary. The bridal swap's Facebook page features chair sashes and matching napkins and even plastic covers that go over heels to protect them from getting stuck in the grass at an outdoor ceremony.

Wedding dresses are a steal at $99 to $800, compared to the average $2,000 for a brand new dress.

The swap meet will also feature bridal shops selling sample dresses, and decor companies clearing out excess stock, said organizers.

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  • 1. Avoid Peak Season: Save $1,500

    Get hitched in late summer or winter to shave up to 20 percent off your venue fee. <b>Your new wedding budget: $48,500.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/real-weddings" target="blank">Get inspired with real weddings!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 2. Cut in Packs: Save $2,500

    Shrink your guest list by a table (8 to 10 people) for savings across the board -- from staffing to rentals. <b>Your new wedding budget: $46,000. </b> <a href="a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-invitations-stationery" target="blank"See more invitation ideas!/a" target="blank">See more wedding style ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 3. Embrace All-Inclusives: Save $3,125

    A venue with catering packages (country club, hotel, banquet hall) or a private room at a restaurant will save $25 a head. <b>Your new wedding budget: $42,875.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-meals-drinks" target="blank">See more catering ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 4. Choose Local Flowers: Save $600

    Stick to seasonal and local flowers -- they're eco- and econ-friendly. <b>Your new wedding budget: $42,275.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-flowers" target="blank">See more flower ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 5. Have Fewer VIPs: Save $660

    A large bridal party equals a hefty florist bill. Cut your posse from six to two and save big on blooms. <b>Your new wedding budget: $41,615.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-dresses-style/bridesmaid-dresses" target="blank">See more bridesmaid ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 6. Sorry, No Shots: Save $1,250

    Limit booze offerings to wine, beer, and a couple of specialty cocktails for a 25 percent-cheaper tab. <b>Your new wedding budget: $40,365.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-meals-drinks" target="blank">See more wedding cocktail ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 7. Focus on Deliciousness: Save $1,250

    Pass four crowd-pleasing apps (in lieu of 10) and offer a plentiful spread of cheeses and bruschetta to save $10 per guest. <b>Your new wedding budget: $39,115.</b> < a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-meals-drinks" target="blank">See more wedding food ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 8. Knock a Star Off the Five-Star Meal: Save $1,250

    Serve taste-alikes: prosecco instead of champagne, hanger steak in lieu of filet mignon, and grouper over cod. <b>Your new wedding budget: $37,865.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-meals-drinks" target="blank">See more catering ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 9. Welcome Turntables: Save $7,300

    Book a DJ: On average, a talented one costs five times less than a live band of the same caliber. <b>Your new wedding budget: $30,565.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-music-entertainment" target="blank">See more wedding entertainment ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 10. Don't Gild the Cake: Save $1,215

    Top it with one XL sugar bloom instead of a cascade of edible flora to save $10 per slice. <b>Your new wedding budget: $29,350.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-cakes" target="blank">See more wedding cake ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 11. Give Your Photographer a Curfew: Save $350

    Who wants to pay for shots of drunk, sweaty guests at the end of the night anyway? <b>Your new wedding budget: $29,000.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-music-entertainment" target="blank">See more wedding entertainment ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 12. Honk Once for Love: Save $1,000

    Avoid having a fancy car on standby the entire day. Choose to make a grand entrance or a big exit. <b>Your new wedding budget: $28,000.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/real-weddings" target="blank">See more real wedding ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 13. Rein in Albums: Save $1,500

    Make one group-friendly edit so you can order the same album for yourselves, your parents, and your in-laws. <b>Your new wedding budget: $26,500.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-photos-video" target="blank">See more photography ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • 14. Skip Letterpress: Save $1,500

    Print all your stationery digitally. Go for great color and typography rather than pricey techniques and chunky paper stock. <b>Your new wedding budget: $25,000.</b> <a href="http://www.brides.com/wedding-ideas/wedding-invitations-stationery" target="blank">See more invitation ideas!</a><br><br><em>Photo: Getty Images</em>

  • Whew! New Budget: $25,000

    Congratulations! Your new wedding budget is just half of the $50,000 you started out with. You've saved $25,000, which leaves you with more funds for your honeymoon -- and your new life together.